journal is hard (was Re: notes from the field - Mongolia)

elana langer elana.langer at
Sun Oct 12 07:40:05 EDT 2008

Here are some notes from Cris Anderson, one of my interns this summer
who is fluent in Mongolian. Because of his language and technical
skills he heard a lot of these issues first hand.

>From Cris:

Tech problems I have noticed:

file artifacts in the journal--the process went something like
this-insert a flash drive to the xo that has a lot of files on it from
windows computer, they show up in journal, remove flash drive, erase
many of the files on a windows machine, use the flash drive with
windows, mac and linux computers for a couple weeks, put it back in
the XO and old files that have been deleted are still cluttering up
the journal in usb view mode.

The team had a hard time remembering all the services that need turned
on when setting up a server.  configuring to always start all
necessary server services at runtime would help.

In 650 and 656 the team saw a few instances of the journal
disappearing-reinstalling the journal activity fixed this.

When using an activity customization key, the additional Scratch Media
and Project files and folders were not unzipped/installed with the
activity.  the team and teachers depend on that media to be there for
teaching purposes

olpc-update froze up and didn't do anything when going from 656 to 703.

A work-around still needs to be developed for the 1000 pilot XOs that
don't type in Mongolian.  Either manufacturing data needs adjusted to
auto-configure to the English/Mongolian hybrid keyboard, or a keyboard
config file hack needs to be done (though this would be subsequently
over-written in later OS updates).

A language pack update option would be a good Sugar Control Panel addition


Tomeu, in terms of the questions you asked below I will respond shortly.


On Fri, Oct 10, 2008 at 9:02 AM, Tomeu Vizoso <tomeu at> wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 9, 2008 at 7:18 PM, elana langer <elana.langer at> wrote:
>> basically when teachers and students try to find their work (write,
>> record, etoys)  in the journal it is hard for them to locate it -
>> especially if it is more than a few days old.
> What I would love to read from you is an analysis of which are the
> concrete difficulties that users are having when trying to find stuff
> in the journal, and then work with us in improving how the journal
> works so that users can more easily find their work.
> As you know, the Journal is one of the most immature parts in Sugar,
> thus this is a good moment to improve what is worth keeping and drop
> what is better to not have there. The feedback you are able to provide
> is critical to this improvement process.
>> This is why everyone is
>> desperate to save their projects on USB keys.
> Does this happen in all other deployment sites?
>> Also it seems that
>> everything doesn't always go there. For example sometimes the pictures
>> from a session in record are there - sometimes they aren't - sometimes
>> it's just one picture - sometimes none. I have seen this many times -
>> again it's why everyone wants to save on a USB right away.
> Record creates several entries in the journal: one per video, one per
> photo, one per audio recording and one to tie them all together. Maybe
> this is confusing users?
> Thanks,
> Tomeu
>> On Thu, Oct 9, 2008 at 5:07 AM, Tomeu Vizoso <tomeu at> wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> On Mon, Oct 6, 2008 at 5:20 PM, elana langer <elana.langer at> wrote:
>>>> 3) Basically - The journal is really hard for people/ kids to use over
>>>> a longer period of time. Kids and teachers can't find things that they
>>>> did unless it was done within the last 30 minutes.
>>> Could you please elaborate on the difficulties that people have when
>>> using the journal?
>>> Thanks,
>>> Tomeu

More information about the Devel mailing list